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Seismic activity detected near North Korean nuclear site

24 September 2017

This test, the most powerful ever conducted by North Korea, had caused an natural disaster of magnitude 6,3 felt up in China.

The quake was detected in an area around Kilju, in northeastern North Korea, just 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) northwest of where the North conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, according to an official from Seoul's Korea Meteorological Administration.

There seemed to be some initial difference of opinion, however, with Seoul's Korea Meteorological Agency (KMA) saying that it had registered a tremor of a similar size, but judged it a "natural quake".

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, now in NY for a United Nations meeting, warned on Thursday that Kim could consider a hydrogen bomb test of an unprecedented scale over the Pacific.

North Korea, which says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself against the threat of a USA invasion, responded on Friday with a rare personal rebuke from Kim, who called Trump "mentally deranged" and threatened the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".

Kim's first-person statement was published by North Korea's state propaganda arm in response to Trump's fiery speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

Refined oil exports to North Korea from all United Nations members is capped at 500,000 barrels from October 1 to the end of the year and 2 million barrels annually from January 1, 2018.

This week marked a new level of acromony in a blistering war of words between Kim and Trump, with the North Korean leader calling the American president "mentally deranged" and a "dotard".

An official of South Korea's Meteorological Agency said acoustic waves should be detected in the event of a man-made quake.

South Korea's weather agency said its analysis had determined that the quake's origin was probably "natural", the Yonhap News Agency reported.

CTBTO Executive Secretary Lassina Zerbo tweeted seismographic graphs from Saturday's quake alongside those from the second quake on September 3, with both data patterns looking broadly similar.

But its magnitude was lower than those of quakes triggered by previous nuclear tests.

He said sanctions are important "to promote a resumption of talks and dialogue" in North Korea. China will suspend such exports once the total exports approaches the ceiling.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un exchanged personal insults this week, and neither side shows any sign of backing down.

The Ministry of Commerce will implement UN Security Council Resolution 2375 by halting the export of liquified natural gas and gas condensate and limit exports of refined oil. On Thursday, the USA unveiled its own set of economic sanctions targeting North Korea.

The US president said China's action was a "somewhat unexpected move and we appreciate it".

North Korea has launched dozens of missiles this year, several of them flying over Japan, as it accelerates a weapons programme aimed at enabling it to target the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.